Zientzilaria

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BioPython and CVS

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I start this post with an apology. I usually don’t rant or vent here, which are feelings that I usually reserve to my personal blog. I don’t use BioPython, never used it. I have it installed in my systems, but I never wrote a piece of code importing BioPython routines. But I subscribe to their mailing lists, both user and developer. I maybe have written once to the list, and I just follow the discussions there. Since last year one of the main topics has been the possibility of moving BioPython from CVS to another version control system. Yes, you read it right. It’s 2009 and BioPython uses CVS and their version control system. Soon, CVS will be like typewriters and LPs to young developers. Last stable release of CVS was sometime in 2005, what in interwebs time is equivalent to something like 1972. Since 2005, Subversion has taken the world of version control by storm, and Git is getting also very strong, not to mention Bazaar, Darcs, Mercurial and some others that I might not be aware of. This is a discussion that have been dragging for sometime in the list. And it’s a shame, a clear lack of leadership from whoever is (not) leading the project. BioRuby is Git, BioPerl SVN and BioPython is CVS, because they “need to care for the legacy developers”. It’s like MSFT keeping two copies of the Notepad executable because they needed to cater to legacy applications, but with a different scale of course. With the current Python steam in the non-bioinformatics and bioinformatics community is very sad to see BioPython not evolving (before you ask me, no, I’m not interested in helping, not the way things are now). Perl which is language forever-in-waiting for its holy grail (Perl 6) has a strong community behind it, and more important an excellent leadership, that’s not scare of making decisions. So, if you’re still using CVS, it’s 2009!

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